round-headed bush clover

round-headed bush clover










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Lespedeza capitata






Dry to moderate moisture. Prairies, sand dunes, woodland openings. Full to partial sun.


July to September

Flower Color

Cream colored (yellowish-white), with a pinkish or purple throat.


2 to 4


This is a 2 to 4 tall, erect, perennial forb that rises on one or more stems from a taproot.

The stems are erect, leafy, and usually unbranched or with a few branches above the middle. They are densely covered with soft, silvery hairs.

The leaves are alternate, and compound, divided into 3 leaflets. They are on short, 1 16 to 3 16 long leaf stalks. The stalk of the terminal leaflet is longer than the leaf stalk. The leaflets are ascending, oval, 1 to 2 long, to ¾ wide, and may be tipped with a short, sharp, abrupt point. The hairiness of the upper surface is variable. They are usually covered in dense, soft, appressed, hairs, and often have a silvery sheen, but they may be hairless. The lower surface is always covered in dense, soft, appressed hairs. The margins are untoothed.

The inflorescence is a round, head-like, dense cluster of 10 to 45 crowded flowers. The clusters are on a short stalk at the ends of stems and branches, or are unstalked in the leaf axils. The flower heads turn dark brown when they mature.

The flowers are from less than ¼ to long and pea-like, with 5 petals organized into a broad banner at the top, 2 narrow wings, and a keel in the center formed by two petals fused together at the tip. The petals are cream colored (yellowish-white) with a pinkish or purple patch near the throat. There is no floral scent.

The fruit is a 1-seeded, hairy pod, about 1 5 long.


Prairie bush clover (Lespedeza leptostachya) has narrower leaves and loose flower heads.

Range Range Map   Sources: 2, 3, 4, 5, 7, 28.

Afton State Park

Blaine Preserve SNA

Blue Mounds State Park

Bunker Hills Regional Park

Camden State Park

Carver Park Reserve

Chimney Rock SNA

Cottonwood River Prairie SNA

Crow Wing State Park

Crow-Hassan Park Reserve

Des Moines River SNA

Dodge Nature Center

Elm Creek Park Reserve

Glendalough State Park

Glynn Prairie SNA

Great River Bluffs State Park

Grey Cloud Dunes SNA

Helen Allison Savanna SNA

Kellogg-Weaver Dunes SNA
Kellogg-Weaver Unit
Weaver Dunes Unit

Kilen Woods State Park

Lake Elmo Park Reserve

Lost Valley Prairie SNA

McKnight Prairie

Minnesota Valley NWR
Louisville Swamp Unit

Morton Outcrops SNA

Mound Prairie SNA

Myre-Big Island State Park

Northern Tallgrass Prairie NWR
Touch the Sky Prairie Unit

Ordway Prairie

Osmundson Prairie SNA

Pine Bend Bluffs SNA

Prairie Coteau SNA

Rice Lake Savanna SNA

Ripley Esker SNA

River Terrace Prairie SNA

Rock Ridge Prairie SNA

St. Croix Savanna SNA

Schaefer Prairie

Sherburne National Wildlife Refuge

Spring Beauty Northern Hardwoods SNA

Spring Creek Prairie SNA

Spring Lake Park Reserve

Twin Lakes SNA

Uncas Dunes SNA

Vermillion Highlands

Wahpeton Prairie WMA

Wild Indigo Prairie SNA

Wild River State Park

William O’Brien State Park



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Habitat round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover        
Plant round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover
Inflorescence round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover
  round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover        
Infructescence round-headed bush clover   round-headed bush clover        



Fabaceae (pea)



Faboideae (Papilionoideae)








Hedysarum conglomeratum

Hedysarum frutescens

Hedysarum umbellatum

Lespedeza bicknellii

Lespedeza capitata f. argentea

Lespedeza capitata var. sericea

Lespedeza capitata var. stenophylla

Lespedeza capitata var. typica

Lespedeza capitata var. velutina

Lespedeza capitata var. vulgaris

Lespedeza frutescens

Lespedeza stuevei

Lespedeza velutina


bush clover


dusty clover

round-head bush-clover

round-headed bush clover

roundhead lespedeza

round-head lespedeza

round-headed lespedeza




The upper angle where the leaf stalk meets the stem.


compound leaf

A leaf that is divided into leaflets, each leaflet having the general appearance of a leaf, with all leaflets attached to a single leaf stem.

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